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Essential Self-Care Practices for Family Caregivers

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It’s common for family caregivers to become so occupied with their aging loved one’s health that they forget to care for themselves. Although it’s easy to push your own needs to the side, you don’t want to make a habit of overlooking your health. Use the following self-care tips to handle your own needs, even as you care for your loved one.

Set Boundaries

Family caregivers often take on too much or accept tasks that make them uncomfortable. Your main priority may seem like it’s caring for your loved one, but it should be focusing on your own mental and physical wellbeing. If you feel uneasy about a specific caregiver task, remember you have the right to say no. Otherwise, you could wind up feeling resentful, angry, and agitated, increasing your risk of caregiver burnout. Before you accept the role of family caregiver, set boundaries around your comfort levels as well as any limitations you may have.

Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and hiring a professional caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Rocklin families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Take Time Off

If you cannot imagine taking time away from your loved one, this is a clear sign you need a break. You’ve become emotionally and physically attached, which can be a bad thing. Family caregivers need to maintain some separation between their own health needs and the needs of their elderly parents. Therefore, you should schedule breaks throughout the day, even if your body isn’t tired. During each break, you can read, write in a journal, exercise, go to doctor appointments, or catch up on rest. Taking daily breaks and extended time off from caregiving allows your body to recharge, preventing exhaustion.

Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Rocklin, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Find a Mentor

Finding someone to talk to can bring you peace of mind, especially during times when caregiving becomes overwhelming. Your mentor can be a trusted friend or family member or someone you have bonded with at a caregiver support group. It’s vital to have someone you can vent to and who can provide tips and advice to help you work through the many challenges that come with being a family caregiver. You could also go on social outings with your mentor or other friends and do things that bring you joy.

Control Stress

The best way to control stress is to identify your stressors and develop a plan to manage those situations or people. For instance, if feeding your loved one is stressful for you, ask one of your siblings to step in and help out with this specific task. If being a family caregiver and working full-time is adding more stress to your life, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to simplify your role. You could also ask your employer about taking an extended leave from work or inquire about telecommuting options. The objective is to learn what causes caregiver stress and anxiety in your life so you can develop different ways to control each situation.

It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember that you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Rocklin elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 916.226.3737 today.